The 24 Hours of Le Mans held in 1952 was the 20th Grand Prix of Endurance, taking place on June 14th and 15th. After more than 22 years away from the track due to war, Mercedes-Benz returned to Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe in triumph, scoring a 1–2 victory with their new gull-wing coupe Mercedes-Benz W194 which was equipped with a 3.0L S6 engine that had less power than the road car sold two years later.
This was the first win at Le Mans for Mercedes or any other German manufacturer and also a first for a closed-body car. It was a grueling race with a record 40 retirements from the 57 starters, an astonishing statistic and testament to those who endured. Finishing first for the three pointed star was the number 21 car driven by Hermann Lang and Fritz Riess. Coming in second was the number 20 car driven by Theo Helfrich and Helmut Niedermayr.